Michigan's Biltmore

Pin it

kaufman exterior frontExterior front facade and motor court. kaufman bb wing 2-1Basketball wing and motor court kaufman property-1Aerial view of property kaufman front elevationFront elevation detail - slate roof, stucco walls, limestone quoining and surrounds and copper eaves are the luxurious materials used kaufman rear terracesRear elevation and terraces kaufman pool and pavillionPool and pavilion - lake view kaufman grand foyer3Grand foyer with double staircase and imported carved marble fireplace kaufman first foyer newel Custom newel post with imported lighting fixture - Venetian plaster walls kaufman receiving room-1 Receiving room kaufman grand foyer Grand foyer - custom designed stone floor - custom designed wood moldings kaufman hearth room A cozy hearth room located underneath a stair - custom designed wood/mirror panels kaufman grand stair detail Grand foyer stair detail showing bronze rosettes and velvet upholstered handrail kaufman west gallery Gallery with custom designed stone floor, custom designed wood trim, custom doors, groin vaulted ceiling and fabric chandeliers imported from Vienna kaufman mbr fireplace Custom designed fireplace with bookmatched onyx and bronze detail kaufman rotunda floor Rotunda floor with custom designed, radiating stone pattern kaufman bowling alley overall 2 lane bowling alley - wall mural by the artist that painted Tavern on the Green in Central Park kaufman bowling alley bath Bowling Alley bath sink area kaufman womens lounge1 Entertainment area - mosaic tile wall signifies the women's lounge and powder bath entrance off bar area kaufman lower level bar-1 Entertainment area bar - mosaic tile wall signifies the men's room entrance kaufman guest house 2-1 Guest house Dubbed "Michigan's Biltmore" by one of my friends, it is a fitting alias for this mega mansion which ranks as one of the 20th largest home in the Unites States. What I love about this home is that it is not a "don't touch me" palace.  It is used and abused...every square inch of its nearly 42,000 square feet.  The lovely owners are two of the most amazing people I have ever met.  Our friendship still lives on even though the project is completed.  When they are not spending time with their five children and running several global companies, they donate countless hours hosting fundraising events for any number of charitable organizations. 

Among the mansion's virtues are 7 kitchens, 6 bars, 6 bedroom/bathroom suites, 21 bathrooms, a receiving room, a grand foyer with a double staircase, a massive dining room, 2 secret staircases, a home office for him that has tele-conferencing capabilites all behind motorized, hidden panels, 10,000 square feet of entertainment space, including a ballroom, a bowling alley, a wine room, a 25 seat theatre, a full size basketball gymnasium designed to be transformed into an event venue, a swimming pool, fountains, pool pavilion, 8 car garage, another auto garage with numerous stalls for his rare car collection and a 5,000 square foot guest house on the multi-acre estate, all situated on a lake in a Northwestern suburb of Detroit.

As part of my career employed with a design firm in Birmingham, Michigan, I had the distinct honor of serving as project manager on this project.  I was also fortunate to be a part of the design team on this project from inception through its innumerable phases.  This is the type of project that challenges, hones and perfects your skills. Custom doors and moldings were designed for the home as well as intricately designed wood panelled rooms.  Hundreds of exotic woods and stones including semi-precious stones were used in the execution of the interior rooms, walls, floors and galleries, many boasting barrel and groin vaulted ceilings.  Chandeliers were imported from Vienna, marble fireplaces shipped by boat from England and fabrics imported from around the world.  Entirely new systems were designed to organize, monitor and direct the project to ensure it's successful completion.

To walk its halls is proof this incredible home lives up to my friend's moniker.